It matters that people have a way to use the latest findings in psychology beyond buying a pill for depression. It matters that people have a way of looking at their lives that lets them ask the big questions and determine how they want to live – and that this is supported by therapists and mental health professionals.

Categories

Posts tagged with the category Benjamin Wachs

We call them “helicopter parents,” “tiger moms,” “hoverers,” … we say they’re over-involved.  But for modern parents of means, the impulse to do anything to protect and advance their children is irresistible.  And … come on … who can’t sympathize with that? The result,...
We are deeply unsure about the differences between man and machine in the 21st century. The movie “Her” presumes that a slightly more advanced operating system will be capable of love and self-actualization. In The New York Times, David Brooks has devoted several columns to asking what kind of people will thrive in an era where...
Photo by Bundesarchiv.
These days we think of students as precious little orchids whose self-esteem must not be bruised by their education. The notion of a “teacher” as an authority figure is out of fashion. Have we got it all wrong? Writing recently in the Wall Street Journal, author Joanne Lipman made a case that an old-fashioned education is still the...
Photo by Matthew Bowden.
It doesn’t have an Upworthy headline, but a lot of attention is being paid to Amanda Hess’ article for the Pacific Standard explaining “Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet.” Her argument is that a culture of misogyny that has built up in online forums like Twitter, where unrestricted speech and privacy are...
The New York Times’ special report on “The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder”  is one more reminder, in a long trail of breadcrumbs, that we become the stories we tell about ourselves. Things that once seemed inevitable—hardwired in, biologically determined—were, in many cases, inventions to suit our life...
H. L. Mencken.
Florence King once defined “misanthropes” as “people who can’t suffer fools, and like to see fools suffer.” It’s hard for me to think of a healthier motto, and I’d like to suggest by way of this essay that King’s 1993 history of misanthropy, “With Charity Toward None,” should be on...
Just from the name, I would have assumed that the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry was a journal dedicated to the undoubtedly severe mental health issues of lawyers. Apparently, I’m wrong. Indeed, a recent study published in that journal showed that countries with better mental-health systems—as measured by the number of...
A new study out of Yale demonstrates that people frequently twist basic mathematically data to fit their pre-conceptions about issues they have strong feelings about (like gun control) … and that the more competent in mathematics the person is, the more likely they are to misunderstand the data in a way that fits their prejudice....
Did you have an imaginary friend when you were a kid?   Do you have one now? A recent article in Aeon magazine reviews some fascinating research on imaginary friends.  It’s qualitative, of course – imaginary friends being notoriously difficult to quantify – but all the more interesting for it.   Some results...
Friedrich Nietzsche
If the future of Existential Psychology could be reduced to a bumper sticker, it might be this one: “Nietzsche Was Right.” In 1882, Nietzsche put some stunning words in the mouth of a character: God is dead, we have killed him, and the implications are staggering. Let me quote from the passage: “Is not the magnitude of this...
For years we in the Existential Psychology have been shouting at the top of our lungs that the DSM is a fatally flawed approach to mental health.  We’ve pointed out that there are no empirical bases for its categories, that its treatment approaches are often arbitrary, and that the entire exercise takes time, energy, and money,...
Ludwig Devrient as King Lear, circa 1769.
The answer seems obvious to most of us—but some neuroscientists tell us that we’re just not reading them right: the brain is sweeter and more temperate. Richard Friedman, a clinical psychiatrist, wrote a recent op-ed piece in the New York Times that is the latest iteration of this case. The brain’s reward circuitry, he writes,...